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Configuring the ipw3945 module for the Intel 3945ABG wireless controller

Note: This guide has now been superseded by newer guides in our Guides section.

Author(s)

Bill Giannikos

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Introduction

The Intel 3945ABG wireless controller is found in the Centrino chipset and is quite common in Intel Core and Intel Core 2 systems. Thanks to the work from Intel, there are a good set of drivers available for Linux which they have called the ipw3945 module. This guide will help you install and configure the Intel 3945ABG for Linux.

Important Notes

Licensing Issues

Due to the license Intel decided to use for this driver, some distributions do not include the driver at all while others only include it as a 'non-free' package. You should read and agree to this license before using the driver.

Installing the ipw3945 module

CentOS/Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.0

The ipw3945 module is not included with CentOS/Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.0 so we will need to use a 3rd party repository. Here we will be using the ATrpms repository.

If you are not currently using the ATrpms repository then, as root, add the following lines to the bottom of your /etc/yum.conf file:

[atrpms]
name=CentOS $releasever - $basearch - ATrpms
baseurl=http://dl.atrpms.net/el$releasever-$basearch/atrpms/stable
gpgkey=http://ATrpms.net/RPM-GPG-KEY.atrpms
gpgcheck=1

Then execute the following command:

yum install ipw3945-kmdl-`uname -r` ipw3945

And that's it, the ipw3945 module is now installed ready to be configured. A reboot may be necessary to activate the driver.

Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 (Etch)

Debian include parts of the ipw3945 module in both the 'contrib' and 'non-free' repositories. You will need to enable both of these to install this driver.

Then, as root, execute the following command:

apt-get install ipw3945-modules-`uname -r` ipw3945d firmware-ipw3945

And that's it, the ipw3945 module is now installed ready to be configured. A reboot may be necessary to activate the driver.

Fedora Core 6

The ipw3945 module is not included with Fedora Core 6 so we will need to use a 3rd party repository. Here we will be using the ATrpms repository.

If you are not currently using the ATrpms repository then, as root, add the following lines to the bottom of your /etc/yum.conf file:

[atrpms]
name=Fedora Core $releasever - $basearch - ATrpms
baseurl=http://dl.atrpms.net/fc$releasever-$basearch/atrpms/stable
gpgkey=http://ATrpms.net/RPM-GPG-KEY.atrpms
gpgcheck=1

Then execute the following command:

yum install ipw3945-kmdl-`uname -r` ipw3945

And that's it, the ipw3945 module is now installed ready to be configured. A reboot may be necessary to activate the driver.

Fedora 7

The ipw3945 module is not included with Fedora 7 so we will need to use a 3rd party repository. Here we will be using the ATrpms repository.

If you are not currently using the ATrpms repository then, as root, add the following lines to the bottom of your /etc/yum.conf file:

[atrpms]
name=Fedora $releasever - $basearch - ATrpms
baseurl=http://dl.atrpms.net/f$releasever-$basearch/atrpms/stable
gpgkey=http://ATrpms.net/RPM-GPG-KEY.atrpms
gpgcheck=1

Then execute the following command:

yum install ipw3945-kmdl-`uname -r` ipw3945

And that's it, the ipw3945 module is now installed ready to be configured. A reboot may be necessary to activate the driver.

Gentoo Linux 2007.0

For Gentoo you can simple execute the following command as root:

emerge ipw3945 ipw3945d

And that's it, the ipw3945 module is now installed ready to be configured. A reboot may be necessary to activate the driver.

Mandriva Linux 2007

Commercial/Non-Free Version

Mandriva include the ipw3945 module as standard and should automatically install and configure the driver for you. No work on your part should be necessary.

Free Version

To do.

SuSE Linux 10.1

SuSE include the ipw3945 module as standard and should automatically install and configure the driver for you. No work on your part should be necessary.

Ubuntu/KUbuntu/XUbuntu Linux 6.10

Ubuntu includes the ipw3945 module in the 'restricted' repository. You will need to enable this repository to install the driver.

Then execute the following command:

sudo apt-get install linux-restricted-modules-generic

And that's it, the ipw3945 module is now installed ready to be configured. A reboot may be necessary to activate the driver.

Ubuntu/KUbuntu/XUbuntu Linux 7.04

Ubuntu now has a mechinism for auto detecting this wireless controller and install the ipw3945 module. It is all done automatically on install so no user input is necessary.

Generic Method

To do.

Conclusion

There you have it. Your distribution should now be able to see a wireless controller and be able to configure it.


Discussion

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John, 2009/07/03 00:11

Holy awesome!! You fixed it! Thank you! My linux knowledge is VERY limited – you just helped so so much. Thanks!

kpm, 2008/01/18 17:56

RHEL 5

Correction…

After the package installation, my hardware browser does recognize the Intel wireless adapter, but my network configuration tool does not. How do I get the net config to see this adapter?

kpm, 2008/01/18 17:50

RHEL 5

I installed this package in RHEL 5 successfully but, after a restart, no wireless is recognized in the network tools. Any suggestions?

Christoph Umrath, 2008/01/04 00:28

Ubuntu 7.10 on X60 and 3945abg wireless

Hi…

What about the ipw3945 in a Thinkpad X60 using Ubuntu 7.10? I installed Ubuntu 7.10 which perfectly discovered all the hardware in use including the 3945abg wireless controller. The installer installed the restricted driver and gave me a warning that the driver is restricted. Unfortunately I am not able to connect to any wireless access point. The wirless sign is only flashing very fast but no connection is possible. Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

Best regards,
Christoph

Cristian, 2007/11/14 19:43

Fedora Vs. Ubuntu

Hi all,

I tried with Fedora Core 8.0 and, though I made the wireless work, it did not do it properly. Every time I restarted my laptop I had to first launch the Network tools to have the wireless detected and then log in to my network. Bottom line: Fedora was unable to detect any wireless network automatically. I shifted to Ubuntu 7.04 and no problem whatsoever. In fact, I could manage to make my VPN work with no problems at all. I had Fedora Core 7.0 in my old Compaq and I could never make the wireless card work (though at that time I never tried with Ubuntu). So, perhaps Ubuntu is better for managing wireless connections (specially for Sony VAIO VGN C-240E) at least when you are a beginner with Linux.

Cristian, 2007/11/14 19:44

I also forgot to mention that the wireless switch to turn the wireless device on/off works perfectly with Ubuntu 7.04.

shawn, 2007/08/26 22:42

i followed the centos 5 instructions on my thinkpad t60 and for some reason the wireless card still doesn't show up, any suggestions?

Bill Giannikos, 2007/06/25 18:19

Sorry, no I don't.

helper_monkee, 2007/06/25 08:19

Wireless light always orange

I have fedora 7 (2.6.21-1.3228.fc7). I followed the instructions above and got the wireless card working (thank you!!). However, my laptop has a switch to turn the wireless device on/off, and there's a light to indicate if it is on or off. I think it's orange when it's off and blue when it's on. I've left the wireless card on, but the light is always orange. Any idea what's going on here?

Thanks,

mojo
Helper Monkee

Bill Giannikos, 2007/06/25 08:26

Which laptop are you using? On many laptops (common on the Asus series) the indicator lights are completely independent of what the wireless controller is actually doing and can be toggled on and off without actually affecting the wireless at all.

helper_monkee, 2007/06/25 08:36

I'm using a HP Pavilion dv6102od Notebook. Do you know if there any issues with this?

Thanks again,

mojo, H.M.

educhip, 2008/04/29 08:03

I've a HP 530 laptop, I'd installed the ndiswrapper and ipw3945 modules.
If I type /sbin/lsmod, appears the modules working, and these start on the boot system, but the light of wifi indicator on laptop doesn't work.
Why occurs that? Anybody could help me? Thanks !!
Note: under windows SO the device works.

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configuring_the_ipw3945_module_for_the_intel_3945abg_wireless_controller.txt · Last modified: 2009/02/12 03:48 by billg
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